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  • Writer's pictureLuna

The Talent Show

Updated: May 22, 2023

Mac Knotts gulped. She really wanted to sign up for the talent show but she didn’t know what to do in it. She could play the flute? She could do gymnastics? Mac just couldn’t decide. “Mac?” her teacher Mrs. Maxie said. “Would you like to sign up for the talent show?”

“What?” Mac croaked. It had all happened so fast. It was like Mrs. Maxie had heard her thoughts. Mac didn’t know what to say. “Um…” She also didn’t know what she was saying. “Uh…” she uttered, “yes, OK.” “We have another one! Another person signing up for the talent show!” Mrs. Maxie said. “What?” Mac asked. “You are signed up for the talent show!” Mrs. Maxie replied.

“Come to practice 4:00 after school Monday to Friday.” Oh no! Mac thought. What have I done?

At practice on Monday there were lots of plastic chairs lined up in front of the stage. The principal Mrs. Mayra was standing on the stage. Mac took a seat in one of the chairs along with some other kids. “OK,”

Mrs. Mayra said. “As I am sure all of you know, I am Mrs. Mayra. I will be helping with the talent show… Now, would one of you come up here and show us your act?” No, no, no, no, no! Mac had a twisting feeling deep in the pit of her stomach.

She didn’t have an act! Her mind was like a blank whiteboard! Random things clicked through her brain. It was like she was looking through 100 drawers for a folder named Talent Show. But when she found it, there was nothing inside!

“Mac! Why don’t you come up here?” Mrs. Mayra called. Mac really didn’t want to go. But she knew no matter how hard she tried she was never going to get out of this. Mac had nothing to say. This day was turning into a nightmare! Her legs felt like Jell-o as Mac wobbled up to the stage. She had to think. Really hard.

Ideas floated into Mac’s mind.

As soon as the first one came, she grasped it. Dance.

Mac walked up to the stage and took a deep breath. “My act is dancing,” she said. Suddenly a thought struck her mind. She didn’t know how to dance!

Mac tried to think, but under this much pressure she couldn’t. She had to get out of the auditorium! Mac jumped off the stage and ran out of the thick double doors that separated the inside of the shady school from the blazing sun. Everyone laughed.

She ran all the way to her house and swung the door open. Her family was there with steaming plates of spaghetti and garlic bread in front of them.

“Mac Knotts! Where were you?” asked Mrs. Knotts Oh no. More trouble. “Um, at practice? Sorry I’m late,” Mac said sitting down. “What practice?” asked Mr. Knotts. Mac knew her parents were going to get mad. No matter what.

“I signed up for the school talent show!” Mac mummbled. “And you didn’t tell us?” Mrs. Knotts asked. “Yes, because you’re the kind of parents that get mad for everything! You don’t care about me!” Mac shouted. “Well, you are grounded!” shouted Mr. Knotts.

Mac ran to her room and slammed the door shut. As she stared into the blue walls of her bedroom, she wished they could suck up all her anger.

Mac’s parents got mad at everything.

It wasn’t fair! She needed someone. A friend. A friend that would understand. But how was she going to get that? She was trapped.

Trapped in her room. A place where she never guessed it would happen in.

As Mac sat on her bed, she felt like she was falling. Falling through space. Falling onto a trampoline and bouncing back up over and over again.

Mac stared at the clock. It was 8:30 PM. She thought she should go to bed. Mac clicked off the light and drifted slowly off to sleep.

The next morning, she was awoken by her sheets thrown off of her. Mac opened her eyes to sunlight streaming into her room. Mrs. Knotts was holding Mac’s bedding in her hands. “Come on! Wake up! Your grounding is over,” she said. “Why are you holding my sheets?” Mac asked. “I had to rip them off of you to get you to wake up. Come on! Get ready for school!” Mrs. Knotts said.

Ugh. School. “Can I stay home today?” Mac asked. “No. You aren’t sick, so that’s a no,” Mrs. Knotts replied. Mac sighed. “Meet you downstairs!” she called.

As Mac was getting dressed, her mind drifted to the talent show. She needed to think of something she was good at to figure out what to do in it.

As Mac was walking downstairs, she tried to brainstorm her talents. She was really good at swimming, but where was the swimming pool and how could she drag it onstage?

She was good at writing, but what was she going to do? Read a story she wrote? Now that would be boring.

She was great at playing the trumpet. She even had one at home! That was it! She would play the trumpet!

“Mac! Breakfast is ready!” shouted Mrs. Knotts. “One second, Mom!” Mac shouted. She ran up into her room, yanked open the closet, and grabbed her trumpet.

Mac thundered down the stairs and started shoveling pancakes into her mouth. Now she couldn’t wait to go to school!

At practice, when Mrs. Mayra asked who would like to show their act first, Mac’s hand whipped up. “Mac. You may go first,” Mrs. Mayra said. Mac walked up to the stage. She had her trumpet with her and she knew which song she was going to play. “I am going to play the trumpet,” Mac said. She raised it to her lips and started. All of her fear disappeared. All of her focus was on the trumpet. When she finished, the kids at practice clapped. Mac smiled and bowed as she walked of the stage.

“Talya. What are you going to do?” Mrs. Mayra asked. “Um, I’m going to do sart on an easel,” Talya responded. “Why don’t you come up here and show us?” Mrs. Mayra said. “I… I forgot the easel,” Talya said. Mac was glad she came prepared.

“Now,” Mrs. Mayra said, “the talent show is tomorrow night, and the student council is helping to set it up. Your homework for practice will be to practice your act every night.”

It took a moment for Mac to sink it all in. The talent show was in 2 days! Panic sizzled through Mac’s body and worry washed over her. “How was she going to get her parents to come?! Or drop her off?!

“One more thing. The talent show will be called The Talent Palooza. I would like you all to make a sign about it,” Mrs. Mayra said.

Mac knew she had to make a sign and practice her act. But the only thing she could think about was her parents. What was she going to do?

When Mac got home that day, her parents were in the kitchen preparing food for dinner that night. Mac silently walked over to them. Or so she thought. “Oh, hi Mac!” Mr. Knotts exclaimed.

“Do you mind mixing the salad for us?” “Oh… I guess I don’t mind,” Mac replied. She grabbed a spoon and stuck it into the salad greens. As Mac started to mix them, she tried to find words to tell her parents about what she wanted them to do just for her. Understand. Understand about the talent show. Understand that they got mad for everything. Just understand.

But Mac couldn’t. Her thoughts were all jumbled. It was like she had a 200-piece puzzle in her brain. All the pieces were clumped together in this tiny space.

Suddenly, Mac had to tell them! I just want you guys to let me do things!” Mac shouted. “To not get mad for everything, to know. To know that all I mean is well!” Mac had felt all this pressure in her chest. And there, there is what Mac had been longing to tell her parents. And she had done it.

“Oh, don’t be pouty, Mac! We’ll drive you to the talent show!” Mrs. Knotts said. Wow. They didn’t understand. Mac sighed. It was for the best anyway.

The next morning, Mac grabbed some markers and started scribbling down a sign for The Talent Palooza. She stuck it in her backpack and ran to catch the bus. “The talent show’s today!” Mac shouted as she ran out the door.

On the way home, Mac gobbled down her sandwich she didn’t eat at lunch. It was peanut butter and jelly. She needed her strength to kick her act out of the park!

School ended at 4:00. The people who were performing in the talent show needed to be there at 5:00. Mac only had an hour to get ready.

Mac burst through the front door so fast her sneakers slid her across the floor. She dropped her backpack and pounded up the stairs. Once Mac got to the top, she was gasping for breath. Her hair was already wet and stringy.

Once Mac took a shower, put on a pretty dress with red sequins, and slipped on a pair of sleek black shoes, she clomped down the stairs.

“I’m ready!” Mac called. “We have got to leave. It is 4:50.” “Good, because I’m ready too,” said Mrs. Knotts suddenly appearing behind Mac. “Me too!” yelled Mr. Knotts. It was finally the big day.

When Mac got to the school, she hurried backstage. She watched as her parents took front row seats. The next few minutes were quite of a blur, until Mrs. Mayra’s voice snapped her back to attention. “It’s your act,” she whispered. No, no, no! It couldn’t be Mac’s act. It just couldn’t!

Backstage suddenly felt very hot. But Mac knew she had to go out there. She took a deep breath and let it out.

Mac walked shakily onto the stage. She felt so small next to the big crowd. “I…” Mac stammered. She tried to remember what she did at practice that one day when everyone clapped. “I am going to be playing the trumpet,” Mac said. She raised it to her lips, and started strongly.

By the time she was finished all of her fear disappeared. Everyone clapped.

She had done it. She had kicked her act out of the park!


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